Volkswagen Poznań – producer of cars and components with a well-established position in the market, belonging to the Volkswagen Group is implementing important solutions aiming at development. They confirm a very important role of Volkswagen Poznań as a member of the VW Group and a leading manufacturer of the brand VW Commercial Vehicles in the world, as emphasizes the Volkswagen Group board member Leif Ostling. Currently one of the most important investments of Volkswagen Poznań is the construction of a new VW Commercial Vehicles factory in Września. In the second half of 2016 it will start production of the new VW Crafter model. We invite you to read about the details of this latest Volkswagen Poznań investment below. You will also read about the factors which contributed to the Volkswagen Poznań success.
Important changes in the last 6 years
Volkswagen is present in Poznań since 1993., being a driving force of development of the Polish region Wielkopolska. Cars produced in the VW Poznań (VW Caddy in all versions and VW Transporter) are distributed to markets around the world. Over the past six years the Company underwent significant changes which contributed to its rapid development. In 2009 Volkswagen Poznań had two factories, one of them were the facilities in Antoninek/Swarzędz, producing the VW Caddy model, and the other one was the foundry in the quarter of Wilda in Poznań. Since then, the Company has grown. In May 2015 the Enterprise started to produce the new model VW Caddy 4 (the model VW Caddy 3 has been produced in Poznań for 12 years). It is worth noticing that Poznań is the only VW factory in the world in where this model is produced. The numbers confirms the success of Volkswagen Poznań. Over the last year in Poznań the Company produced over 170 thousands of cars. The success of the Enterprise is reflected in growing employment. The Company is now hiring 900 employees to the facilities in Antoninek. In the coming years the Enterprise is planning to modernize the factory in Poznań. Among others a new welding hall will be built. On the other hand the foundry in the Wilda quarter wins many tenders for new products, and currently every third car of the Volkswagen Group is built with the components produced in the Poznań foundry. All these projects show that there are some crucial changes in the Company aiming at development, and perhaps the biggest of them is the construction of a new factory in Września.
The new factory - a large-scale investment
Decision to choose Września (and more precisely Białężyce near Września) as a new location for Volkswagen Crafter production was made in March 2014. The process of building the new factory began in October 2014. By now all production halls have already been equipped with roofs. The new plant will carry out the production of the new VW Crafter. The Company plans to start production in the second half of 2016. The production capacity of the new plant amounts to 100 000 cars a year. Volkswagen Poznań estimates that in 2018 the Plants in Września and Poznań together will produce annually 280 thousands of cars. The new factory of Września is located 50 kilometers east of Poznań and will be in all aspects benefited from the close location of Volkswagen Poznań in Antoninek – both in terms of production, logistics, suppliers, and above all, the staff experience. The facilities of VW Crafter covers the area of 220 hectares, which is the equivalent of 300 football fields. The new plant area will include: the modern paint shop, the body shop and assembly room, as well as the Park of Providers with a logistics surface. Polish and foreigner suppliers located in the surroundings will contribute to increase employment in the region. Next year Volkswagen Poznań is planning to employ 3,000 people in the new factory (this number corresponds to full use of production capacity). In total next year in the VW Group factories in Poland 16 thousands of people will be employed. Leif Ostling, the Volkswagen board member said that the aim of increasing the presence in Poland is to develop the brand of VW Commercial Vehicles and expand the range of products. Construction and development of the new factory surely confirm that Germany is Poland’s important economic partner. In this crucial investment Poland also sees an opportunity to attract components’ manufacturers. Many cooperating companies producing components for the new Crafter will look for new employees, creating new jobs. Currently, 40% of components’ suppliers for the Poznań factory comes from Poland. It is also worth adding that the VW Poznań investment has been the biggest industrial investment in Europe for the last 10 years, which can serve as a great example to attract other foreign investors to Poland.
The renowned brand and Customer satisfaction
Three basic factors make Volkswagen Poznań a trustworthy, reputable brand: very good products, motivated crew and continuous optimization of processes. New products are implemented with Customers in mind, and their satisfaction is reflected in the Company’s results. A good example is the new VW Caddy 4. It was launched in February in Poznań. In this way the Company showed its pride of the fact that Caddy is produced exclusively at this location. The VW Caddy 4 responds to the Customers’ needs – it has been designed to satisfy both business Clients and families interested in passenger car. The buyers’ response is positive and Volkswagen Poznań is now adapting the processes to the increased production volume. Choosing the directions of development, the Company is carefully watching market trends. In the light of these observations it notices that the Polish Customer is less and less different from the European one. When making purchase decisions he puts more and more attention to the overall value of the product, not just to its initial price. He takes into account the cost of maintaining a product, service, reliability, safety and environmental aspects. The Company hopes that the process of decision making will be changing so that Polish Customers will consider also where a product was made, whether it was produced in Poland (and at the same time it contributed to create jobs), so consequently it perhaps provides employment directly or indirectly to any person associated with the Client. According to estimations Volkswagen Poznań factory, employing 7,000 employees, generates another 50 thousands of jobs. This means stable, secure future on the micro and macro-economic scale.
Employees - the Company’s important resource
The Company’s extremely important resource are its employees. VWP currently employs over 7000 employees in three existing locations. In order to ensure the stability of jobs to employees, their families and cooperators the Company is constantly working on the efficiency of production and management processes and maintaining a high level of motivation among the crew. The factory has a very good reputation among the plants of the Group, that is why the Caddy model is built exclusively in Poznań, and the future Crafter factory will be incorporated in the Volkswagen Poznań. The Company conducts an annual survey examining satisfaction among the employees, so-called Sentiment Barometer, the results of which are an impulse for further changes. VWP encourages its employees to take responsibility for their tasks and to put forward new proposals of optimization – this refers both to production workers and other employees. It is worth noticing that the employees themselves came up with their motto – “Our success is us”. Every single employee – from production worker to office employee at all positions, from the lower position employees to manager staff – can build the Company’s success. According to the “Best Employer” strategy developed in the Group, the Company implements numerous incentive programs, health care and training programs aimed at supporting employees in their daily tasks. These programs are continually adapted to changing needs. Employees are also asked about what can be improved and how. Thus, they have opportunity to influence the Company. The Enterprise realizes that it has already achieved a lot, but it has to face new challenges, including the program of adapting the plants to the demographic challenges associated with an aging population.
Pro-environmental approach is an important element of both strategy of the Volkswagen Group, as well as the sustainable development strategy of VWP. The Company’s aim is to produce cars and components in an environmentally friendly factory, and the products should meet environmental, energy, economic, safety, quality and comfort requirements. For this reason, environmental protection begins at the planning stage. All activities are based on three areas of cooperation: planning, finance and environmental protection. Only in this way you can construct an environmentally friendly installation which at the same time doesn’t bring loss when it’s exploited. All processes at VWP have been designed in compliance with the highest environmental standards, using the latest technology. Production processes take place in accordance with the principle of efficient management of raw materials and elimination of environmental burdens. A good example of this practice is the volatile organic compounds emission standard, obtained during the vehicle painting process: ~ 20 g VOC/m2 of the painted surface when the limit is 45 g/m2 of the painted surface. But that’s not all. In order to achieve this goal in environmental protection, the Company declared its adherence to the principles of the environmental and energy policy, implemented since 2003. The Company has been certified with Environmental Management System according to ISO 14001 and the Energy Management System compliant with ISO 50001. Frequent controls conducted by independent auditors confirm that Volkswagen deserves such a distinction. The goal of the present system is to continue improvement of all processes in cars production and to raise awareness among employees. The Company and the Group didn’t rest on laurels in implementation of environmental and energy systems. At the moment they are implementing environmental program Tink Blue Factory, which aims to reduce the amount of water and energy used as well as CO2 and VOC emissions per unit of production by 25% by 2018. It is a big challenge, in cooperation with all the employees of the whole Group. An important element of environmental policy is also cooperation with the local community. Representatives of the factory maintains a regular dialogue with the authorities, environmental organizations, housing councils, media and residents. You can visit the facility together with a representative of the VWP. Informing constantly about the plans of the Company, as well as about the influence on the environment builds confidence among the residents. In conclusion, we can state that only a combination of many positive actions has led the Company to success, which is perfectly reflected in the new important investment – the factory in Września.